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These Cauliflower Tots are everything you want in a tater tot — but better! They are crunchy on the outside, tender inside, higher in fiber, and cheesy. |

Cauliflower Tots

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  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian


These Cauliflower Tots are everything you want in a tater tot — but better! They have the same crunchy, golden outside and soft and tender middle that we all know and love but they are higher in fiber (thanks cauliflower!) and get a cheesy upgrade with shredded mozzarella.


  • 4 cups small cauliflower florets (or riced cauliflower)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheeseshredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • cooking oil spray (for baking)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped (optional, for garnish)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a large microwave-safe plate and cook in the microwave until tender, about 3-4 minutes. You can also steam cook or boil the cauliflower for 5 minutes until tender.
  3. Drain well and let cool completely, about 10-15 minutes. Use a paper towel to pat the cauliflower completely dry. 
  4. In a food processor, add the cooked cauliflower and pulse mix on and off for 1 minute until finely chopped (or you can also finely chop the cauliflower florets by hand).
  5. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can using a cheese cloth or your hands. Transfer the cauliflower bits to a large mixing bowl.
  6. Add in egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix until well combined. 
  7. Use your hands to shape the cauliflower mixture into tater tots and place them on the lined baking sheet. 
  8. You can bake, deep fry, or air fry the cauliflower tots.
    • To bake: Apply cooking oil spray evenly over the tots and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, turning the tots over halfway through baking. Broil on HI for additional 4-5 minutes to achieve extra crispy brown tater tots, if desired.
    • For deep fry: Add oil to a large pot filling it up 2-inches deep. Heat for 3-4 minutes until the oil it hot. Add cauliflower tots in batches and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. 
    • For air fry: Add cauliflower tots in the air fryer basket and spray with cooking oil spray. Air fry at at 375F for 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crispy, shaking the basket halfway during cooking to achieve even color.
  9. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.


Make ahead: Shape the cauliflower tots and line them on your baking pan. Then cover with plastic cling wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to one day in advance. When ready to make them, set the tray out on the counter for about 20 minutes to bring the tots to room temperature. Then cook as per recipe instructions.

How to store: Once the cauliflower tots cool completely, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

How to reheat: Reheat in a 350F preheated oven or air fryer for 5-10 minutes until warmed through and crispy.

How to freeze: To freeze, allow the tots to cool completely to room temperature, then place them on a lined baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours until hard. Then, transfer to a freezer bag and release any excess air. Seal and freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat straight from frozen in a 350℉ oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tots are heated through and crisp.

  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American